I know most of us were approaching Rebecca's wardrobe "malfunction" in a mostly humorous manner, however it got me to thinking about media personalities hired by the franchise and what degree of loyalty or sincerity I expect from them or should expect from them.
We Blazer fans are a pretty rabid bunch. I know once I started to think about it I realized that perhaps the fault was my own? I mean I grew up with two major media entities covering The Blazers. Bill Schonely on the radio and Steve "Snapper" Jones on television, with various revolving sidekicks through the years. Growing up with these two doing the majority of the coverage I don't think I was kidding myself when I felt they both really were Blazer fans. I mean, Schonely was paid, it was his job but you also just knew he really was a fan of the team. I also felt the same with Steve Jones despite what unfortunately seemed to become a souring relationship wit the franchise, when he was commenting on the game as a Blazer announcer I always felt his loyalty was really with The Blazers. So I grew up with Schonely as the voice of The Blazers and the connection that the announcer "really was" a legitimate and sincere fan. I know today that all announcers hired by a franchise want to foster that connection between themselves, the team and the fans. Do I feel the same sincerity with Wheeler, yes, he's good enough at his job that I really feel that he is sincerely excited when great Blazer moments unfold. But could I imagine someday in the future with a different alignment of stars Wheeler announcing for some other team? Yes, for the same reason, because he is so good at his job. And I think ultimately that's okay. That's life in a competitive and rarified career niche. Wheeler probably can't afford to believe that he must, can and always must be only a Blazer fan.
But what about the second and third tier? Those hired by the franchise not to be the voice but to occasionally give voice? The sideline reporters, the Blazer Dancers? What would I really think or feel if Rebecca Haarlow announced that The Nuggets were her favorite team and that Portland was really in her personal if not professional second place? Hypothetically is that forgiveable? Can a hand that holds the black and red microphone be beating with baby blue blood? Can I handle it? Should I? Should I be able to realize that not everyone is Bill Schonely? Not everyone started on the groundfloor of the franchise. That some of these people are just hired guns, hoping and looking for career expansion. I remember reading the profile of one of The Blazer Dancers (purely informational reasons) and noticing that she had listed one of her dogs as being named "Kobe", and it just felt wrong to me. For some reason it bothered me that a Blazer Dancer would be so impressed with Kobe Bryant as to name her pet after him. I got over it by convincing myself it might of just been coincidence that maybe she just thought Kobe was a good name for a dog, because for a dog I guess it IS a good name.
So after all this long winded talk I guess what I'm asking is how serious should we be? Do we now live in an age of replaceability and interchangeability to the extent that perhaps we should just realize that for the majority it is just a job? After all Maurice Cheeks got his coaching start here, but his latest end was in his Philadelphia and you know that it was his dream to coach in Philly despite the unfortunate end. We ourselves (The Blazers) have the former Mr.Sonic as our head coach. So should we be shocked when Rebecca dons Baby Blue? Would we be shocked if Brian Wheeler admitted to Lapband Surgery AND a poster of Kareem Abdul Jabbar in his back closet?
Hired Gun or Local Sheriff? Does it matter as long as the job is done right? Like a chicken that imprints on the first thing it see's after it is hatched perhaps I was spoiled by growing up with Schonely because I never had to question whether he was a sincere fan. Perhaps that's just rare. Maybe the fault is our own?